RNA: An Accurate Residual Network Accelerator for Quantized and Reconstructed Deep Neural Networks

Cheng LUO  Wei CAO  Lingli WANG  Philip H. W. LEONG  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E102-D   No.5   pp.1037-1045
Publication Date: 2019/05/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2018RCP0008
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Reconfigurable Systems)
Category: Applications
deep learning,  residual networks,  software-hardware co-design,  batch-normalization layers,  FPGA,  

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With the continuous refinement of Deep Neural Networks (DNNs), a series of deep and complex networks such as Residual Networks (ResNets) show impressive prediction accuracy in image classification tasks. Unfortunately, the structural complexity and computational cost of residual networks make hardware implementation difficult. In this paper, we present the quantized and reconstructed deep neural network (QR-DNN) technique, which first inserts batch normalization (BN) layers in the network during training, and later removes them to facilitate efficient hardware implementation. Moreover, an accurate and efficient residual network accelerator (RNA) is presented based on QR-DNN with batch-normalization-free structures and weights represented in a logarithmic number system. RNA employs a systolic array architecture to perform shift-and-accumulate operations instead of multiplication operations. QR-DNN is shown to achieve a 1∼2% improvement in accuracy over existing techniques, and RNA over previous best fixed-point accelerators. An FPGA implementation on a Xilinx Zynq XC7Z045 device achieves 804.03 GOPS, 104.15 FPS and 91.41% top-5 accuracy for the ResNet-50 benchmark, and state-of-the-art results are also reported for AlexNet and VGG.